The Stone Poneys, “Different Drum”

The guy that wrote the song wanted to record it with his hit band but was turned down flat. And the girl that sang it never liked her performance. Yet the public has spoken since when the song was released in 1967 and in the half-century since to make “Different Drum” by the Stone Poneys one of the most enduringly bittersweet hits to come from the year of the Summer of Love. The writer was Michael Nesmith, a few years before he would become a member of the Monkees. He recorded it with his band the Greenbriar Boys, and it was that version of the song that caught the attention of Linda Ronstadt, then the singer for the Stone Poneys. Nesmith did try to make a Monkees hit out of it his well, but the producers who chose the band’s material shunned it. “Most of the songs I did write, they didn't want, so on the last few albums I didn't contribute much in the way of material,” Nesmith said in 1971. “I took them 'Different Drum' and they said all it needed was a hook. They asked me to change it and told me it was a stiff.” The…

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